Saturday, 12 March 2016

Sepia Saturday: Hats off to James Carroll

Sepia Saturday prompts bloggers to share their family history through old photographs. 

Their suggestion this week shows a British Grenadier Guard kissing a woman during a visit to Sydney in 1934, but the Guard’s towering bearskin cap hides most of the action. Indeed, hats of all kinds feature most prominently in this picture - nearly everyone is wearing one.


So today, as part of our family history, I thought I'd tell the story of James Carroll and share with you some of his photos. They feature a variety of great hats. James Carroll was Teresa (Carroll) Wynne’s older brother. Actually, he was her half-brother, the son of Maurice Carroll and his first wife, Mary Anne Frazer. That makes him my half-great-granduncle.  

James Carroll was born in Balheary, in Swords, Co. Dublin, 150 years ago, on 4 November 1865. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was only two years old, but, by the time he was four, his father had remarried. Anne Radcliffe was twenty years of age when she married Maurice and became mother to his surviving children. Although, five children have been identified in baptism records – David, Robert, Catherine, Thomas and James – some may have died prior to Maurice and Anne’s marriage. James probably had no memories of Mary Anne for he named Anne Radcliffe as his mother later in life.

Three days after his twenty-first birthday, James married Anne Molyneux in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. His bride was originally from Ballymore Eustace in Co. Kildare. The young couple had three boys born in Dublin city, Maurice in 1887, William in 1889 and James in 1891. Sadly, William died.  

James and Anne (Molyneux) Carroll in later life

About 1901, the family migrated to Newcastle upon Tyne, in England. During the census that year, James, Anne and their son James were living in a lodging house in Elswick, seemingly having just arrived in the town. James had found work as a general labourer. Their eldest son Maurice was temporarily left behind with friends in Ireland.

Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd, Newcastle
James Carroll in his fire officer’s uniform 

By 1911, James was well established  in Newcastle, where he worked for Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd, then the largest manufacturing company in Britain.  James was a fireman in their fire department. Both his sons also worked for the company, Maurice as a ship joiner and young James as an apprentice electrician in their gun department.

The Armstrong Whitworth fire-engine

After James retired, he moved out of Newcastle with his wife Anne and they spent some years living in the Northumbrian countryside, first in a place called Twice Brewed and later at Tow House, near Bardon Mill. During the war years they moved back to Newcastle to live with their son James, who was known as Jimmy. James died on 22 December 1943. His wife did not survive him by very long and within six months, on 18 June 1944, she too passed away.

Anne (Molyneux) Carroll in later life

To see what stories other Sepians have under their hats this week, head over to Sepia Saturday.

Sources: Copy birth, marriage and death registers, General Register Officer; Church records on RootsIreland.ie and IrishGenealogy.ie; 1901 and 1911 Census of England and Wales, accessed on Ancestry; information after 1911 and Carroll family photographs received, with much appreciation, from the great-grandchildren of James Carroll in Newcastle. Thank you Rosalie, Brian and Rosemary. 

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© Black Raven Genealogy

20 comments:

  1. What wonderful old photos! Really love the last one of Anne Carroll -- such character in her face and clothes! And THAT HAT!!!!!

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    1. She surely looks like an interesting character and to be married nearly 60 years, they must have been a very sweet couple.

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  2. Dara, wonderful photographs — and hats — to go with the story of James. As well, Anne's surname is intriguing. I wonder if she is connected to the Molyneux line out of Calais, France, who settled in Ireland in the 16th century.

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    1. I don't know Jennifer, I have not found her baptism record. Her father was William and there was a William Molyneux in the Kildare, at the Curragh, around the right time - probably a soldier - but the mother's name did not match.

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  3. Now I'm mad at myself for not thinking of hats. I got fixated on the clarinet and kiss and ended up skipping this week. I enjoyed seeing these pictures. Anne surely had a lovely smile.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, my excuse for not participating more often is my lack of old family photographs. I'love to find a stash of them some day, but sadly, I believe they just don't exist.

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  4. Reading family histories here on Sepia, I'm struck by how quickly immigrant families got settled in their new homes. The firemen's hats are eye-catching to say the least. I wonder if the top-knot thingie was purely decorative or if it served a purpose.

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    1. I agree Helen, their hats are unusual, I've no idea about the 'top-knot' but I'd say it's just decorative.

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  5. My goodness but James was a nice-looking man. I wonder how tall he was because Anne looks to have been rather short? A cute couple, & I like the photo of the firemen posing on their fire engine!

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    1. The tall gene did not pass down our branch of the family anyway.

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  6. A great trbute to James and Anne, with some great hats, but my favorite of Anne is your first photograph, where she looks so happy and full of fun. I hope the sons had children, as I can picture her as a marvelous grandmother.

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    1. Thanks Jo. She had descendants, luckily, they shared these photos with me :-)

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  7. A lovely tribute to James and Anne and I am pleased they had a good life in the Newcastle area.

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  8. I enjoyed reading about James and Anne. They look like a sweet couple in the first photo.

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  9. Fantastic photos!

    I like that Anne is smiling in that first photo as back then they normally kept a straight face to keep still for the camera. It makes me think that she was naturally a happy and smiley person :)

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  10. What a great collection of a family's photos. You are indeed fortunate to have so many pictures of them, as well as facts to go along with their lives.

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  11. I had the same thought as Sharon about the smiles and what an interesting history of James and Anne - and their hats.

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  12. family is what makes life worthwhile so it's always interesting to read how a family made its way through life. Lovely photos.

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  13. Love the pic of James & Anne

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